Changes you can make now to increase your 2017 profits.

 

It’s here.  No denying it now.  The new year is upon us  … a time to reflect on the past and look forward to the future.  A time to see everything as a new beginning.  And a time to be proud of everything you’ve done, even the small things.

If you know me well, you know one of the things I do a lot of is CELEBRATING!  Not the dance on the table with a lamp shade celebrating, but more the “Yeah, my pitch worked and I got my client in Inc Magazine.  Or after months of trying, I finally landed that client.  Bring out the bubbly, we are going to party!  I always try to celebrate the big wins and the little wins. Why? Because then when I have a “bad” day, I can reflect on the better days ahead.

The New Year is a great time to starting thinking about building your business.  Funny how January has that power.  Everyone is in the “grow” mode.  So with that, here are my top tips to increase your profits in 2017.
Tips to Increase Your Profits in 2017:

  • Do a website review – while you are changing that footer on your site from 2016 to 2017, spend some time and do a quick review of your site.  Read over it like you just put it up, and check those links, contact forms, etc.  Review the SEO and keywords to ensure you are still good to go. Review the services or products page.  Can you improve upon that?  Does it still represent all you do today?  Is it easy to purchase your products? Remember making it easy for your customers to order, will allow them to purchase more.  Now check your website on your phone.  Is it mobile-friendly or do you get a few sentences per screen?  Do whatever it takes to represent you in the best way possible.
  • Conduct a social media review – Devote a week each month in January, to reviewing your social media and make changes.  One week focus on Facebook.  The next week on Twitter.  Then LinkedIn, etc.  Now naturally you want to keep all your social media efforts going throughout the month, but if you focus on one each week, hopefully you can accomplish so much more.  You know the usuals, add more content, etc., but what you want to do is plan out 2017.  Use that week to come up with a 3 month plan.  At the end of the three months you can review, and broken down into 3 months segments help.
  • Create passive income streams– Take some time and consider what you can do to get some passive income in each month.  Can you convert that webinar into a product you can sell?  How close are you to writing a new ebook?  Can you connect with those you have associated in your industry and see what they are offering?  Sign up for affiliates.  Just see what you can do to bring in income that doesn’t require you to do it.

Get marketing and make 2017 the best year yet. And remember you don’t have to do it alone.  There are those out there who specialize in PR and marketing who can help.  The most important thing is to do it, have some fun, and welcome the New Year with open arms.

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Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the  author of numerous books including Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA  Feel free to pass this article along as long as the author’s block is included.

Social media Marketing Tips – These work!

Want to get more engagement out of your social media.  These tips work!

  • Have a Plan Work that Plan – The key is to be consistent. Don’t stop, start, start back up again, etc. Be consistent in your postings.  For example, I share tips, reviews, images, articles from publications, any media I get, what events I’m doing, tips from others, etc.)
  • Review Your Plan & Make Changes – Constantly review your SM marketing and make changes .. Just one might be .. finding out when your people are on SM by reviewing your insights and then sending more during that time.
  • Use Your Profiles –Use appropriate keywords to describe what you do in your profiles. Does your LinkedIn Profile sound like the same person as your Twitter Profile?  It should! Don’t be two different people online!
  • Post #PRTips, #VATips, #BookMarketing tips – Remember to include those tips that will reach your target audience. Also, set up columns so you can see what others post under these hashtags and repost some of their tips as well.
  • Do not run the same postings over and over again. Yes, you can use ones you’ve used before, but don’t do same ones repeatedly.  It  makes you appear lazy!
  • Facebook Ads – They work!  You get to set the budget, target the audience & more. You get more people to your page & you get ads that promote your events or services.
  • Images count. Use a great image, compelling message, call to action, etc.  Start noticing the ads that you see.  What is it about them that stands out?
  • You can send people to your website or your Facebook page. Decide which you want? I normally do a combination of both.
  • Use the editor to fine tune your audience. One thing I discovered is that you can “Type in possibilities” and it will show what’s available. Say .. Entrepreneurs, business owners, romance novels, etc.
  • Boosted Posts – Just hit promote this post. Bamm…it’s done! More likes=more engagement. Promote the posts that get the most responses and the ones that mention your newsletter, your specials, etc. (Not the ones that Facebook recommends.)
  • Promote the good stuff.

Diana Ennen of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com This article is free to be reprinted as long as bio remains.

25 Awesome Ways to Get PR for Your Book

Self-published your book and not sure how to get others to notice it!  No problem these tips will help you market like a pro.

  • Get media attention – pitching the media. Securing interviews with various media is an excellent way to promote your book. Make sure your pitch is well-planned, clearly showing why you are the expert in your field, and outlines your experience appearing on radio, TV, and other media. Also, just because you wrote a book is not news, you need to talk more about how that book can make a difference or why their audience would love it. Be sure to pitch to the right editors too.  We use Cision to find those and it rocks!
  • Radio Shows – One way to get more PR for your book is to do radio shows. Fortunately there are so many shows available today and constantly are looking for great guests. In fact, it was recently mentioned in Entrepreneur Magazine that 57 million Americans are now tuning in. One benefit of doing radio is that you can do it from the convenience of your own home or office with no traveling required.    Remember pitch the shows that fit your book and you.  That show on benefits of going organic is not going to appreciate your book on building a business.
  • Write down sound bites that clearly discuss your book, you, the topic of your book, etc.  (The Q&A from your media kit can be used here.)  Remember when doing a show to keep it conversational and fun, always following the hosts lead.  And add these to your media page on your website and be sure to promote the show yourself.  Shows will have you back more when they see their numbers increase.
  • TV –Know that if you haven’t been on TV before, big named shows are not as likely to bite, so start locally and on a smaller scale. Build up to the bigger names one and always add any media you get to your press page, your bio, and any pitches.  Watch the shows so you have a good idea how they work.  Dress the part and be confident.  Yes, you’ll be nervous, but remember you did something sensational that not everyone can do … you wrote a book and are an author.  It helps!
  • Local Media – Connect with your local media and let them know you have a new book out. But be sure to give them a reason why they would want to interview you.  Again, the fact that you live in their area and wrote something isn’t enough. You need to pitch them on why their audience would be interested.  What unique angle can you bring to the plate?  Keep in mind too, you can often target these towards holidays or special events if you have a book that relates to these topics.  There always seems to be a day or month for something (i.e., talk like a Pirate Day.)
  • Book Reviews. Getting book reviews is so important. There are numerous professional book reviewers who review books professionally and it’s good to send pitches to them. Again, we use Cision to look for reviewers and all of our media, but there are others out there as well.  Just make sure it’s targeted and send exactly what they ask.  When you do your homework, it shows.

Also, it’s great to ask for those who know you as well to write a review, just don’t be that person that spams their friends.  Also, have a promotion strategy with a big push at the beginning, but then continue to seek and secure reviews on a monthly basis. It’s a commitment that will pay off by keeping your book in the public eye. Also, know timing is critical when securing book reviews as a few of the larger book review sites require the galley two to three months in advance.

  • Blog Tours. In today’s online world, blog tours are an economical way to promote your book as well as your expertise. Create your pitch and send it to blog sites that may want to have you as guest blogger or connect with you in some other way such as doing a good review or perhaps a contest. Be sure your pitch is clear on the topic and why you would be the perfect fit for their site. Also, offer several options such as being a guest blogger, providing a Q&A, hosting a contest, etc.
  • Blogging is a great way to get PR about your book. It allows you to connect with your readers, as well as those who are just curious about you, but haven’t yet taken the plunge as a devoted fan. Blogging builds relationships, allows you to share more about yourself than just what appears in your book, and it’s the perfect place to post your book reviews or ask for reviews.  Be consistent with your blogging and whenever you add a new blog posting, mention it on all your social media channels.
  • Book Clubs – Promote your book through book clubs. Offer a discount and also offer to answer questions throughout.  Be personable and show them why it would be to their advantage to host you.
  • Press Releases. An aggressive press release campaign can be one of your best and most cost-effective ways to promote your book. It not only brings exposure to your book , but it rocks your SEO results and backlinks. Your release can cover the launch of your book, any great reviews you received, an upcoming book tour or book signing, any speaking engagements you have up and coming, any radio appearances, etc.  Remember the most important basis for a press release – it has to be newsworthy.  Get in the habit of writing releases on a regular basis and also be sure in your press release to include the call to action—buy my book, do a review, come to my book signing, etc.
  • Writing Articles – Write articles on the topic in your book. It is a great way to promote your book or show your expertise. For example, say you have a business book on starting a virtual assistant business. You can write articles on how to start a VA business, how to work with virtual assistants, pricing, etc.  Use your articles to pitch magazines, blogs, newspapers, etc. who write on your topic.  Often they will include the entire article. You can also add your articles to your newsletter, blogs, etc.
  • Create a media kit – it’s great to have a media kit that you can add to your site as well as send when requested from the media. A media kit can consist of sales page, pitch (cover letter), press release, bio, Q&A, excerpts, and testimonials.  No need for a huge media kit these days.  Just the basics so you can share more about your book.  We use the pitch (cover letter) and press release to also send out to the media, so it helps that way as well.
  • Newsletter –On your website have a signup box to your newsletter. Send out a newsletter at least once a month if not more.  This is your way to get personal and show fans more about you.  Let them know of upcoming books, speaking opportunities, etc.
  • Book promotion and speaking go hand in hand. Use your book to get more speaking engagements, and use your speaking engagements to promote your book. Plan well in advance, and look for opportunities locally, online and around the country. Your colleagues and others in your professional circle can also be a great resource for speaking opportunities, and are typically always happy to share their knowledge and ideas. Also, you can find speaking opportunities by doing internet searches on speaking opportunities and your topic.  Also, set up Google alerts to find more.  Once you find them, send a well-crafted pitch on why you are perfect for their audience.  And know sometimes it takes follow-up and connecting with them more than once to be accepted.
  • Teleseminars / Webinars – Absolutely be in the habit of doing these, especially if your book is business related. You get to show your expertise, but also many use teleseminars as a way to get more to sign up for their email list.  The key is to really give value.  Too many webinars are 5 minutes of content and 55 minutes of sales pitch.  Not good! Give value and they will want to hear more from you.
  • Book Signings – What a great way to celebrate being an author. First connect locally to not only bookstores in your area, but perhaps your local library.  Don’t limit it to only those though.  If your book is focused on a specific topic, see what businesses or organizations may be interested as well. Know that you can continue to do book signings even after the initial launch. So many do this, plan book signings at the beginning and then stop.  Don’t be that author!  Continually make this a part of your marketing, not only for sales, but to keep you front and center in front of your favorite fans!
  • Networking – Get involved. Look for groups in your area that would be a good fit and attend regularly.  Be picky.  In the beginning you might attend more until you find the right groups, but once you find good fits, spend your valuable time there. And this isn’t just for writer’s groups, although those rock.  Are there any business groups that have your targeted audience in them, maybe some sci-fi groups or mystery groups?  Keep looking. The secret here though is not to overcommit.  Know these take time so watch your schedule so you too can enjoy them and not feel stressed.
  • Social Media –Get active and stay active on social media and connect with your fans. They love seeing the face behind the book. Remember the 80/20 rule.  80 percent engagement, 20 percent pitching. You can include excerpts from your books, any reviews you get, business tips, motivational quotes, images, contests, upcoming events and any press you get, etc.  Plus, have fun with it.  And most importantly, remember it’s better to have a smaller number of really engaged fans, than thousands of those who aren’t.
  • Paid Advertising – Yes do it! Sure it costs a little, but budget accordingly.  You get your book and you in front of the right people when you do.
  • Facebook Ads. – It pays to spend some money and get additional exposure for your book as well as your Facebook Book Page. Be sure to target your audience when you set up an ad and be specific in who will see your ads, and make it visually appealing.  Set the budget so you can see results.
  • Google Ads – The benefit to Google ads is that you find the keywords that really work. To get front page status, you have to pay more for certain keywords.  The good news … you can use those keywords in your everyday marketing.  Yeah buddy, it works!  Plus, Google ads bring more exposure to your book from those that might not have heard of it.  It’s worth it!
  • Book Business Cards – Carry business cards of your book with the cover on them and contact information. Get into the habit of passing them out often. Also, if speaking at an event have cards with your book and cards with your information.  A nicely crafted postcard works great!
  • Website – You want to have a website for your book or at minimum a page on your site specifically for your book. Also, know just having a website isn’t enough.  You also have to keep it updated, making sure to keep it updated and easy to purchase your book.  So many develop a website and never come back again.  Big mistake!
  • Promote through Your Other Books – Use your other books. If you sell multiple books in the shopping cart, have it set up so it shows other books they might be interested in.  When possible add in your other books to your newest book.  If you happen to have a series book, start promoting Book One in the series when you write new books so you get fans to start there and catch up.
  • Excerpts from your book – Get into the habit of taking excerpts from your book and creating social media postings, blog postings, creating articles, etc. It’s a great way to show what’s in your book and get more engagement. Also, you can add these to your media kit as well.
  • Always carry a copy of your book with you – When someone asks about it, be proud and tell them about it. Don’t be shy in telling them how they can purchase it.  (Just don’t be pushy!)
  • Family, Friends & Associates – Yes, your family, friends and associates can be key in promoting your book and most are thrilled to help. (You can even send PDF copies to some to cut down on expenses of not having to send a hard copy.)  It’s okay to tell them how best they can help as many just aren’t sure.  Ask for reviews, tell them to share with their friends and family, post on social media, and don’t forget to invite them to your book launching party.  Just don’t be that friend that all you talk about now is your book and forget the value of your friendship.
  • BONUS TIP — YOU! The best way to sell your book is to be a good example.  Be the author that engages with fans and truly cares.  Be the author that doesn’t overextend and burden your social media with constantly only selling your book.  Be the author that has a great book and you are proud of it.

See how easy it can be to market your book.  Get in the habit of doing these regularly.  And know if you need help, follow those who offer book marketing series to get their expertise.  Often they will provide daily tips.

Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services, book marketing services, and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the co-author of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA  Follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

Entrepreneur Tips – Things to Consider Before Starting Your Business

Here are several things to consider before starting your business

1) Costs – Know it all. Research and ask questions. Find out not just about the normal operating costs, but what else might be required. Write it all down and plan accordingly. Have money for several months or plan to work part-time. Too many fail because they don’t have the money to succeed.
2) Marketing – Most businesses don’t work without marketing effectively. Be sure you know how you will market this business and also that you have the expertise to do it. If not, get reading or be prepared to hire someone. Be prepared before you start and have that plan ready to go.
3) Needs to be passionate about what they are doing. That’s the only way to keep going and face those odds, exhaustion and temptation to throw in the towel. You aren’t going to love what you do every day, but on the whole you have to believe in it and want to continue doing it.
4) Business Basics – Know what is required for your business and geographic area. Licenses, business types, etc. Also consider the daily operational procedures. Will your business require you to run it or can it operate some on its own? Why this is so important is because you then can use effective time management practices to succeed.

Love to hear your thoughts to consider before starting your business.

Entrepreneur tips – Overcoming business challenges: 5 Ways to Get Back Your Business

Entrepreneur tips – Overcoming business challenges: 5 Ways to Get Back Your Business

Running your business definitely has its challenges. It’s how you deal with them that makes the difference.

Here are a few tips to overcome your business challenges:

• Letting others know your value. So many business owners just don’t understand fully what all you do because they aren’t doing the work. You need to let them know. It’s not bragging, it’s good business sense. For example, with PR and marketing, it’s important to be able to explain to clients exactly what they are getting. Let’s say you land them in major media. Not only should you let them know that it happened, but also provide the stats on that site so they see how great it is and what they can expect. Also, to get more out of each media mention, provide additional information on how they can utilize their social media (people they already know them) to showcase this media attention. So whatever your business, find ways to do the follow-up showing all you accomplish for your clients and why it benefits them.

• Keeping consistent income. Here again, many business owners suffer from this and the feast or famine of their business. One month you are rock’n and can barely keep up, and then the next month crickets. You often crave the stability of a regular paycheck. Well, you can make that happen. One way is to offer retainer services whereby every month clients will retain your services. Even though it’s at a slight lower rate, depending on how many hours they secure, it’s beneficial as it provides regular income. Another method might be to offer programs that are set up on a monthly basis. This differs for so many businesses and how they can set it up, but the bottom line remains the same – keep income coming in regularly.

• Overcoming a Bad Experience. Have you ever had something happen in your business that well didn’t go according to plan? Say you spoke and no one ended up buying your book or becoming clients. Your new program that you spent months on, didn’t fly. Perhaps a client wasn’t 100% satisfied with your services. Believe it or not, this happens to most of us at one time or another. Yes, you could sit back and never speak again, or mope and settle for less income by not going after new clients, or you can reboot and start fresh. That’s the one to go with. We know that loss of confidence can really hurt. However, the real pros know to move on. First, take a few minutes and examine your role. Could you have done something different? If so, next time do it. (That was easy!). Next build your confidence back. Read your client testimonials or talk with associates. Do anything and everything to rebuild your confidence because honestly even saying it doesn’t bother you, more than likely it does. Then get back on the horse again only this time with renewed confidence and perhaps a few changes in how you do things. Will you fall again? Of course you will at some time. But will you always grow learning from your experiences, absolutely!

• Not Pricing Correctly. If I had a nickel for every time that I did this, well I could make up for my pricing mistakes. Seriously though, this happens. You underbid on a project finding out it takes five times longer than you anticipated. You price a course and then realize that you are giving away the farm. Or you simply discover your hourly rate is way below what it should be. Not to fear. It’s fixable. The most important thing you can do is to learn from this and correct the situation. You might not be able to up your rate with the current client, just you can learn from your mistake and never do it again. Also, don’t disregard talking with your client about it. Sometimes they understand. However, know that if its your mistake, you shouldn’t make them pay unless they are willing to.

• Time Management – Pricing mistakes often are made because you didn’t realize the time involvement. So get used to timing yourself. Yes, get the timer out and work for a specific amount of time on that task and see how long it takes. Simple! Also, get a day planner and write down your day for a week or two (or forever!) or get used to using some of the many valuable time management programs available today. Time is money and if you are not keeping track of it and utilizing your time in the best possible way, well there it goes, clunk clunk … down the drain.

Business challenges are a part of business. So get used to dealing with them and also get used to learning methods of rising above them. Be great at what you do, do what you are passionate about, and finally seek help when needed. Let’s chat about your business challenges. Post away!

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Diana Ennen, President of Virtual Word Publishing, www.virtualwordpublishing.com offers PR and Marketing services and PR and Virtual Assistant Coaching. She’s the co-author of Virtual Assistant – The Series: Become a Highly Successful, Sought After VA and So You Want to be a Work-at-Home Mom. Feel free to pass this article along as long as the author’s block is included and follow her on social media at https://www.facebook.com/VirtualWordPublishing/ and https://twitter.com/DianaEnnen

8 Weeks to Become a PR Pro–Learn Valuable Marketing Secrets at Upcoming Publicity Success Series

Here’s our latest press release for our upcoming classes! Hope you can join us! www.prsuccessseries.com

8 Weeks to Become a PR Pro–Learn Valuable Marketing Secrets at Upcoming Publicity Success Series

Margate, FL (September 2015) Most authors, entrepreneurs, speakers, and other business owners want to know how to get more sales, land more clients and speaking engagements, and land on major media outlets like Fox News, CBS and more. They have the product or services required to be successful; they just don’t know the secret to getting the word out. Publicists can be expensive (yet worth it), and do-it-yourself marketing often ends with zippo results. This causes many to simply give up. Fortunately, help is available with the upcoming training program–Publicity Success Series – 8 Weeks to Becoming a PR Pro, offered by PR expert and best-selling author, Diana Ennen, president of Virtual Word Publishing.

The Publicity Success Series is intended to help businesses master proven marketing strategies and learn the essential tools necessary for success. Ennen is launching this program in October, yet the classes are set up to run continuously so participants can join at any time. A few of the many added benefits include recordings of all classes, a weekly Q&A on PR topics with Ennen, and access to a private Facebook group.
Ennen excels at PR and walks the walk and talks the talk getting clients featured in major media including USA Today, Fox News, CNN, Entrepreneur Magazine, Forbes, Investors, and too many others to mention. Ennen states, “Marketing is all about doing more things right on a consistent basis. So many today get started and go gangbusters at the beginning and then lose their momentum and crumble quickly. My new program can change all of that. It addresses everything from book marketing to writing killer press releases and so much more. It’s truly has it all.”

A breakdown of the marketing classes includes:

Marketing Plan Class – Develop a plan that works and receive vital marketing tips along the way.
Press Release Writing & Distribution Class – Discover the secrets to press release success and learn how to avoid all those red flags that gets your release destined for the trash bin.
Article Marketing Class – Article marketing has changed so much over the years and what worked last year, simply won’t today. Learn the secrets to article marketing success and more importantly, how to turn your articles into major media mentions.

Pitching the Media Class – Remember the media doesn’t care about you yet! But they will after learning all these pitching basics. Get the attention of editors, bloggers, reviewers and more by writing a pitch that works.
Social Media Marketing Class – Find the secrets to combining your social media and PR together for optimum success. And discover how to maintain a great social media campaign on a limited time frame and budget.
Book Marketing Class – Want tips to sell more books and get more speaking engagements? Then you need to attend this class. Become a best-seller and learn the basics for growing your entire business through your books.
Preparing a Media Kit Class – Some consider preparing a media kit worse than pulling teeth. That’s just because they don’t know the secrets to success. No pain here. This class walks you through the entire process and then shows you how to use your media kit in all of your marketing efforts.
PR Success Secrets – Avoid some of the horror stories that Ennen shares from her 30 years in business while learning the secrets to PR magic.

This class is perfect for all those who want to maximize their marketing as well as those who wish to add PR to their list of services. Sign up today at www.prsuccesseries.com Early bird rates apply. For more information or media interviews contact Ennen at diana@virtualwordpublishing.com.

Holiday Marketing – Plan For Your Best Year Ever

Tis the season to go marketing, fa la la la la … la la la laHoliday Marketing

Why do I love holiday marketing so much?  Because it’s a great way to go into the New Year with more clients and more sales and at the same time, connect on a deeper level with your clients and potential clients. You get to wish them holiday cheer and talk about their plans for the holidays and upcoming year.  It’s more relaxed and low key and often the marketing doesn’t feel like marketing at all, but more of a ‘Hi, how are you?”  No really, “Hi, how are you?  What are you doing for the holidays and how are you celebrating with your kids, etc.?”  You will soon get to the “What can do together in the new year,” but first, let’s get to know each other better.  Continue reading